May 24th, 2019

Loading for the AR10 Using a Progressive Press

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10
Gavin Gear tests .308 Win ammo with his DPMS LR-308B, AR10-type rifle.

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com owns a DPMS LR-308B, an AR10-type semi-auto rifle. Gavin finds that his DPMS has a healthy appetite for ammunition. So, he set up his Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press to produce .308 Win ammo. This video shows the process of press set-up and operation, complete with Hornady’s automated Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder. Employing elevated rotary hoppers, the case feed and bullet feed systems really speed up production. The automated feeders allow the operator to produce cartridges without ever touching case or bullet with his hands.

If you need large quantities of .308 Win ammo for 3-Gun matches or tactical games, and if you value your time, a progressive press may be a wise investment. The progressive can load a complete round with every cycle of the press handle. With Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder in place, the Hornady L-N-L can easily crank out a new .308 round every 3-4 seconds (watch video at 5:25). Conservatively speaking, that’s 15 rounds per minute sustained production (and some guys can go even faster).

To learn more about the Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive Press (with case/bullet feed options), and to see a list of the dies and accessories Gavin uses, click the link below:

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 5: Loading .308 for the AR-10

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10

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May 22nd, 2019

Get Great ELEY .22 LR Ammo for 7 Cents per Round from CMP

CMP Eley Standard Bulk pack

Do you go through a lot of rimfire ammo every season? Looking for quality “major brand” .22 LR ammo that’s still affordable? This CMP Deal may fill the bill. ELEY, the UK-based rimfire ammo-maker, has teamed up with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) here in the USA. Now you can purchase 5000 rounds of quality ELEY-made ammo for $354.95. That works out to just seven cents a round (or $3.55 per 50rd box). This ELEY CMP Standard ammunition features a 40-grain bullet with an average velocity of 1090 fps. This particular round has a paraffin wax coating to feed reliably through all .22 LR firearm platforms.

ELEY CMP Standard ammo will be available exclusively through the CMP. Though budget-priced, it “will still be incredibly accurate compared to other ammo at this price point”. There is a limit of two (2) cases per individual per year, priced at $354.95 for 5000 rounds. The CMP even offers Free S&H to all contiguous U.S. States. IMPORTANT: Purchasers must have a CMP account, which requires proof of eligibility, e.g. membership in a CMP-affiliated club.

Mike Corkish of ELEY America states, “ELEY is excited to partner with the CMP to offer an accurate, affordable ammunition for shooters in a true bulk package. With the CMP working to encourage youth shooting, ELEY finds this partnership a perfect fit”. NOTE: To purchase this ammo you must register and provide proof of eligibility.

In addition, says Corkish: “As shooters continue to improve they have the opportunity to purchase other grades of ELEY ammunition through the CMP. This will continue to help the CMP grow competition shooting and encourage safe firearm practices.” ELEY also produces premium rimfire ammo used by benchrest shooters, Biathletes, World Cup competitors, and Olympic marksmen.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
May 21st, 2019

The Honed-Neck FL Sizing Die Option — Alternative to Bushings

Custom honed FL dies non-bushing die Forster

Tired of messing around with neck bushings? Is there a simpler (and potentially better) solution for controlling case neck tension? Yes there is — the precision honed non-bushing die.

You can purchase a Forster non-bushing Full-length sizing die for many popular cartridge types for under $50.00. Then you can send that die to Forster, and Forster will custom-hone the neck for a nominal $12 fee plus return shipping*. When done right, the honed FL die can load ultra-straight ammo with the precise next tension you prefer for your brass and bullet choice.

Alternative to Bushings — Honed Full-Length dies
Conventional, non-bushing full-length sizing dies can create ultra-accurate ammo with very low run-out. For some applications, we prefer a non-bushing FL die over a bushing die — so long as the neck tension is correct. But many FL dies have an undersized neck diameter so you end up with excess neck tension, and you work the brass excessively. Forster offers a simple, inexpensive solution — honing the neck diameter to whatever size you want*.

If you purchase a Forster non-bushing, full-length sizing die, Forster will hone the neck dimension to your specs for $12.00 extra (plus shipping). This way you can have a FL die that provides the right amount of tension for your particular load. (The max amount of diameter change Forster can do is about .008″) Forster dies are relatively inexpensive so you can afford to have a couple of FL dies with necks honed to different diameters — such as 0.266″ and 0.267″ for a no-turn 6mmBR. The die itself is fairly inexpensive — currently Precision Reloading charges $41.49 for a Forster 6mmBR FL sizing die (Forster Part #018121).


Forster FL dies, necks honed to .265″, .266″, and .267″.

Steve Rasmussen of IowaHighPower.com gave this a try. In fact, he had three dies made — each with a different neck dimension. Here’s his report: “My original Forster 6BR FL die sized the necks down a lot [to about 0.260″]. I sent my die in and asked if they could supply two more FL dies (for three total) to have the necks honed to 0.265″, 0.266″, and 0.267″.” In addition to the purchase cost of two more FL-sizing dies, Steve paid $36 ($12 per die) for the three dies to be honed.

Steve’s honed dies produced very straight loaded ammo:
“Brass springback after sizing is running 1 to 1.3 thousandths. My loaded rounds are running 0.2697-0.2699 using [older Gold Box Lapua brass]. So far the dies are working well. I sized 80 cases with the 0.266″ necked die. The shoulder is running 0.4582″ and 0.300″ up from the base is 0.4684". I spun 20 of ‘em and 16 had a runout of one thousandth (0.001) and the other 4 at 1.5 thousandths (0.0015).”

*Here is Forster’s description of its Die Honing Service:

We custom hone the inside neck diameter by using a diamond stoning process. We enlarge the inside diameter to your specification to prevent over-sizing of the case neck due to thick neck walls. You may require this service for multiple reasons: 1) If you use some brands of brass cases which have thicker neck walls. 2) If you do not intend to outside neck turn case necks that have thickened after repeated firings. Please specify desired inside neck diameter. Note: 1) No more than .008″ stock removal from your existing die neck diameter is possible. 2) Honing is done in increments of one half thousandth of an inch (.0005″), meaning that your specified inside diameter must be either.XXX0″ or .XXX5″. FEES: $12.00 plus actual return shipping cost & insurance Please allow 1-3 weeks.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 20th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 191: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Weatherby Rifles — Save up to $200

Weatherby Rifle Rebate

Weatherby rifles and attention to detail go hand in hand but it’s always at a cost but that’s about to change. For a limited time you can pick up a Weatherby rifle and save $100 or $200 with factory rebate. It’s as simple as heading to your favorite Weatherby dealer, purchase an approved rifle, complete the Weatherby rebate form and mail it in. With 25 models to choose from there’s no better time to pick one up. Some qualify for $100 rebate; other models have a $200 rebate.

2. EuroOptic — MASSIVE Nightforce Scope Sale, May 23-28

amazon rifle bipod

We’ve seen Nightforce scopes on sale before but never this many for this cheap. Head over to EuroOptic.com and check out what is easily the best Nightforce Optics sale we’ve seen in a long time. You can pick out any of the new NXS scopes for an amazingly low 20% off. Deals like this don’t come often on Nightforce and especially the newest models so if you’re in the market don’t hesitate to jump on this deal. NOTE: The 20% OFF discounted prices will not appear on the website until May 23, 2019!

3. Graf’s — Buy 8-lb keg of select powder, get FREE 1-pounder

hodgdon IMR powder sale

This is one of the best Powder Promos of the year. Right now at Graf & Sons, if you buy an 8-lb keg of select Hodgdon or IMR powders, you get a FREE one-pound or 14-ounce container of the same powder. This deal works with fourteen (14) popular Hodgdon and IMR powders. So if you’re running low and need to stock up on your favorite powders, here’s your chance to cash in on some savings. That free one-pounder can be worth up to $32.00. CLICK HERE for POWDER DEAL.

4. Grizzly Bald Eagle — Great rifle Case and Range Bag Sale

Deals of the week Grizzly rifle case gun bag utility case blowout closeout sale

Grab one of these Bald Eagle rifle cases or range bags at up to 50% off. These are way better than typical too-skinny rifle cases or flimsy fabric bags. The rifle cases have plenty of storage for your match needs and the padding is very good. The box-style range bags have thick closed-cell foam panels in the base, top, and sides. That gives these bags good “wall strength”, so they don’t collapse like typical range bags. These are more like a quality camera-case.

5. Amazon — Portable Tipton Cleaning Cradle, $19.97

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradle

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradleHere’s a very handy gun cradle that helps you clean and maintain your rifles while at the range. The Compact Range Vise folds and collapses to 11-1/4″, so it is easily transported. Two padded “V” brackets hold the rifle while protecting the finish during cleaning/maintenance operations. Made from solvent-resistant polymer, the Compact Range Vise is durable and should last for years. Note this is not suited for wide-forearm benchrest or F-Open rigs, but for typical hunting and varmint rifles it works well. This is really a great option for travel because it is so light and compact when folded.

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradle

6. Amazon — CVLIFE 6-9″ Adjustable Bipod with Adapter, $18.99

amazon rifle bipod

Do you have multiple rifles that are all sharing one bipod and you’re tired of switching it back and forth? Grab a couple of these CVLIFE 6-9″ Tactical Rifle Bipods for the crazy low price of $18.99 and outfit all your rifles properly. At that price you can even give some bipods to your buddies as gifts. Though inexpensive, this CVLIFE bipod has earned a 4.5 Star rating with more than 3,800 buyer reviews.

7. Graf’s — Hornady Ammo with FREE Vest, Targets, Ammo Can

hornady ammo sale

With this promotion, when you buy Hornady ammo from Grafs.com, you get free stuff — lots of free gear. Here’s how it works — first purchase $100 or more of select Hornady tactical ammo. Then when you view your shopping cart you’ll automatically see a FREE Tactical Vest, FREE ammo can, and FREE targets. You even get FREE shipping. This deal applies to 44 varieties of Hornady ammunition.

8. Creedmoor Sports — Barrelcool Mini Brass Drying Tray, $40.95

barrelcool brass dryer

If you wet-tumble or ultrasonically clean your brass you’re always left with wet brass that needs to be dried before you can reload. People use a variety of processes to dry their brass, but most take a lot of time, or use a lot of space. The people over at Barrelcool have come up with a brass dryer that’s compact and effective. This brass drying tray holds 50 pieces of brass and runs off a simple USB plug. It delivers high air flow in a small footprint. With most people struggling for bench space that’s a win-win for most reloaders.

9. Bullet Central — 10% off cleaning supplies and accessories

10% sale cleaning supplies

You can’t shoot without having to clean your guns, and nobody likes paying too much for cleaning supplies. Now you can save on gun cleaning products with the Bullet Central’s Spring Cleaning Sale. Save 10% off all cleaning supplies and accessories. Simply spend $30 or more, enter Code SPRINGCLEAN19 during check-out and you’ll save 10% on all your cleaning supplies.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
May 18th, 2019

TECH Tip: How to Adjust FL Dies for Correct Shoulder Bump

Sinclair full length sizing die should bump set-back case
CLICK HERE for Sinclair Int’l 3-part video series on using Full-length Sizing Dies.

How Much Shoulder Bump Do You Want?

Some of our readers have questioned how to set up their body dies or full-length sizing dies. Specifically, AFTER sizing, they wonder how much resistance they should feel when closing their bolt.

Forum member Preacher explains:

“A little resistance is a good, when it’s time for a big hammer it’s bad…. Keep your full-length die set up to just bump the shoulder back when they get a little too tight going into the chamber, and you’ll be good to go.”

To quantify what Preacher says, for starters, we suggest setting your body die, or full-length sizing die, to have .0015″ of “bump”. NOTE: This assumes that your die is a good match to your chamber. If your sizing or body die is too big at the base you could push the shoulder back .003″ and still have “sticky case” syndrome. Also, the .0015″ spec is for bolt guns. For AR15s you need to bump the shoulder of your cases .003″ – .005″, for enhanced reliability. For those who have never worked with a body die, bump die, or Full-length sizing die, to increase bump, you loosen lock-ring and screw the die in further (move die down relative to shell-holder). A small amount (just a few degrees) of die rotation can make a difference. To reduce bump you screw the die out (move die up). Re-set lock-ring to match changes in die up/down position.

That .0015″ is a good starting point, but some shooters prefer to refine this by feel. Forum member Chuckhunter notes: “To get a better feel, remove the firing pin from your bolt. This will give you the actual feel of the case without the resistance of the firing pin spring. I always do this when setting up my FL dies by feel. I lock the die in when there is just the very slightest resistance on the bolt and I mean very slight.” Chino69 concurs: “Remove the firing pin to get the proper feel. With no brass in the chamber, the bolt handle should drop down into its recess from the full-open position. Now insert a piece of fire-formed brass with the primer removed. The bolt handle should go to the mid-closed position, requiring an assist to cam home. Do this several times to familiarize yourself with the feel. This is how you want your dies to size your brass, to achieve minimal headspace and a nearly glove-like fit in your chamber.”

We caution that, no matter how well you have developed a “feel” for bolt-closing resistance, once you’ve worked out your die setting, you should always measure the actual amount of shoulder bump to ensure that you are not pushing the shoulder too far back. This is an important safety check. You can measure this using a comparator that attaches to your caliper jaws, or alternatively, use a sized pistol case with the primer removed. See Poor Man’s Headspace Gauge.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
May 17th, 2019

Summer Savings — 25% Rebate on Winchester Primers

Winchester Primers rebate sale 25% discount brownells

Need primers? Here’s a great way to save on primers this summer. Now through August 15, 2019, There is a 25% factory rebate on Winchester primers. Here’s how it works. If you purchase at least $80 worth of Winchester-brand primers, you qualify for a $20 manufacturer’s rebate. That works out to a 25% savings ($20 is one-quarter of $80). Money saved is money earned!

» CLICK HERE For Winchester Primers REBATE Form

And if you buy a larger quantity of primers you save even more. For example, if you buy $100 worth of Winchester primers, you get a $25.00 rebate. If you buy $200 worth of Winchester primers you get the maximum $50 back under this promotion.

Winchester Primers rebate sale 25% discount brownells

This Winchester Rebate is good on purchases made on or before August 15, 2019, so you have plenty of time to shop. The rebate offer applies to virtually ALL Winchester brand primers – pistol, rifle, and shotshell. While we use Federal and CCI primers for most of our rifle hand-loads, we’ve favored Winchester pistol primers for many of our pistols. We’ve found Winchester pistol primers to be very reliable with all types of pistols and revolvers, and they work great with progressive reloading presses.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
May 16th, 2019

Save Big Right Now with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, now is the time. Right now, May 16, 2019, Brownells is offering $35 Off a $300+ purchase or $70 Off a $600+ purchase. That’s a great bargain, effectively a 11.6% savings. Use Code MFX to save $35 on $300+, or use Code MFY to save $70 on the purchase of $600 or more.

These Discounts Expire at 11:59 pm CDT 5/16/19:
Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: MFY — $70 Off $600 + Free S/H
Expiration date: May 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM CDT

Coupon Code: MFX — $35 Off $300 + Free S/H
Expiration date: May 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM CDT

Take note guys. These are one-day only discounts that expire at 11:59 pm CDT. Don’t delay if you’re thinking about a big purchase, such as a firearm or a barreled action.

More Brownells Discount Codes

If you miss these deals listed above, Brownells is still running some discounts for $99-$200 purchases. With a purchase of $200 and up, save $20 with Code M8Y. Or, with a purchase of $99 or more, you can save $10 with Code MDX. You can also get free Shipping/Handling for all purchases over $49 with Code VB5. That free shipping/handling could save you another $10-$20 easy. NOTE: These codes have no listed expiration date, but Brownells could terminate them at any time, so you should still act soon.

Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 off $200 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: MDX — $10 OFF $99 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: VB5 — Free S/H Over $49
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
May 15th, 2019

Peterson Cartridge Now Produces Loaded Ammunition

Peterson Cartridge ammo ammunition
Peterson now offers 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, and .300 Norma Mag loaded ammo.

Peterson Cartridge, a leading USA-based cartridge brass maker, is expanding its product line. Peterson recently announced that it will produce loaded ammunition. This new Peterson Precision Ammunition, of course, features Peterson brass, along with bullets from Berger, Hornady, and Sierra. There will be four (4) ammo types initially: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win Match, and .300 Norma Mag. (NOTE: We’ve also seen a photo labeled “7mm” so perhaps a .284 Win is on its way, or maybe a 7mm SAUM?)

The ammo is reasonably priced. For example, the 6.5 Creedmoor ammo costs $35.00 for 20 cartridges, or $1.75 per round. Here are the product specs for the four cartridge types currently offered. You can access Full DROP CHARTS by clicking each photo below.

6mm Creedmoor Peterson cartridge ammo Ammunition

6mm Creedmoor
Projectile: Hornady 108 Grain ELDM
Velocity: 3080 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.536

6.5 Creedmoor Peterson Cartridge ammo ammunition

6.5 Creedmoor
Projectile 1: Sierra 142 Grain SMK
Velocity: 2700 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.595
Projectile 2: Hornady 140 Grain ELDM
Velocity: 2750 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.646
Projectile 3: Hornady 147 Grain ELDM
Velocity: 2650 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.697

Peterson Cartridge .308 Win Winchester ammo ammunition

.308 Win Match
Projectile 1: Sierra 168 Grain Tipped MatchKing
Velocity: 2803 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.535
Projectile 2: Sierra 175 Grain Tipped MatchKing
Velocity: N/A
G1 BC: 0.545

Peterson Cartridge .300 300 Norma mag magnum ammunition ammo

.300 Norma Magnum
Projectile: Berger 215 Grain Hybrid Target
Velocity: 2950 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.696

This ammo is all assembled in the USA, using Peterson brass and American components: “The entire manufacturing process, from creating the brass to loading the full rounds of precision ammunition takes place in our manufacturing facility located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. Peterson Cartridge is dedicated to producing the best American-Made ammunition possible.”

Peterson Cartridge
761 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 201
Warrendale, PA 15086
Phone: (724) 940-7552
Email: info@petersoncartridge.com

Peterson ammo tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
May 14th, 2019

Precision Expander Mandrels from 21st Century Shooting

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

You can benefit from these precision mandrels, trust us…

Controlling cartridge neck tension is a critical aspect of accurate reloading. A very small change in the amount of grip on the bullet can actually have a noticeable effect on accuracy (and group size). You can tune neck tension with different size bushings used with FL-sizing or neck-sizing dies. You can also adjust neck “grip” by annealing your brass, or turning your necks for reduced neck-wall thickness.

But perhaps the most precise way to tune neck grip on the bullet is to use Precision Expander Mandrels. Many top shooters size their case necks down pretty far with a full-length sizing die then use a precision neck mandrel as a final step. This expands the neck back to the precisely-desired neck diameter. Because you are working from the “inside out”, variances in neck-wall thickness become less important. This also ensures you have a perfectly-round internal neck geometry for seating your bullet. (Yes, unfortunately some neck bushings are not perfectly round inside.)

For guys who want ultra-precise control over neck tension (and “grip” on the bullet), 21st Century Shooting now offers Precision Expander Mandrels in .0005 (one-half thousandth) increments. These will be available for most popular match calibers including: .224, 6mm, .25, 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .308, and .338 calibers. These mandrels cost $17.99 each, or you can get a complete set of nine mandrels in .0005 increments (for one caliber) for $144.99. Listed below are the nine 6mm mandrels:

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

John Perkins, owner of 21st Century tells us: “Finally! We have our expander mandrels up and ready to order on our website here: http://www.xxicsi.com/expander-mandrels.html.” This is a big deal. James Crofts, past National F-TR Champion, says “WooHoo — great news!”

To get best results with these precision mandrels, John recommends using the 21st Century Expander Die Body, part #904. Watch video for set-up tips:

John adds: “We are still in the midst of turning all of these so some calibers will ship when they are completed. Should have them all done by end of next week or so! Thanks for your patience while we got these set up and in process!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 13th, 2019

Bargain Finder 190: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. PSA — 6.5 Creedmoor Savage Axis II, $296.99 with Rebate

Savage Axis II Rifle discount Palmetto

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is the hottest thing going these days. And now you can get a good-looking, ultra-reliable 6.5 Creedmoor Savage Axis II rifle for under $300.00. The Axis II in Realtree Timber Camo is on sale now at Palmetto State Armory (PSA) for just $329.99. But you can save another 10% with the Savage Tax Season Rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $295.99 after rebate. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-shooting hunting rig for anywhere near this price. This rifle weighs 6.2 pounds (before optics) with 20″, 1:8″-twist barrel. It comes with a Picatinny Rail mounted.

2. Precision Reloading — FREE HazMat on Alliant ($125 Minimum)

Alliant powder free hazmat reloder 15 16 17 23

Don’t delay! Now through 11:59 pm on Wednesday May 15, you can get FREE Hazmat on Alliant Powders at Precision Reloading. If you buy at least $125.00 of Alliant propellants, there is NO HazMat. And yes, Precision Reloading has the very accurate and temp-stable Reloder 16 in stock in both 1-lb and 8-lb containers. If you like H4350, you should definitely try Reloder 16. It works great in the 6mm Creedmoor, 6XC, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .284 Win match cartridges. You’ll find other great Alliant powders, such as Reloder 23 (like RL16 but slower), AR Comp, and Unique in stock at great prices.

3. Natchez — Weaver T-Series Classic 36x40mm Scope, $339.99

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. You can also save money on rings since the main tube is 1″ diameter. The Weaver T-36 with 1/8 MOA clicks and Fine Cross-hair reticle costs $339.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. NOTE: Natchez also has the classic T-36 scope with 1/8-MOA Dot reticle for $379.99.

4. Krieger Barrels — Discounted Overstock Barrels

krieger barrels

Krieger barrels have a strong tradition of being at the top of leaderboards year after year. But like any good barrel company they often need to be ordered months ahead of time. A little-known secret is that Krieger maintains a supply of Krieger overstock barrels that are priced to move and available right now. These are absolutely first-run quality, but just represent excess volume in particular contours and calibers. We’ve ordered Krieger overstock barrels and have never been disappointed — especially when the barrel shows up a week later.

5. Bruno’s — Vihtavuori N133 On Sale with Low HazMat

Bruno Shooters vihtavuori free hazmat N133 6 PPC

Short-range Benchrest competitors (and varminters) here’s your chance to save on ultra-accurate Vihtavuori N133, a superb propellant for the 6 PPC and other smaller cartridges. Bruno Shooters Supply has N133 on Sale for $204.99 for 8 pounds. That works out to $25.62 per pound. In addition, you can get FREE HazMat if you buy four 8-lb kegs, or get half-price HazMat if you purchase two 8-pounders. One-pound containers are also available. Bruno’s has other attractive promotions currently including FREE Shipping on Jewell Triggers.

6. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler LITE, $99.99

Frankford Arsenal Tumbler Sale

Wet-tumbling with stainless media gets large quantities of cartridge brass clean inside and out. If you’ve wanted to try wet-tumbling, here’s your chance. Midsouth has the Frankford Arsenal Platinum LITE Tumbler on sale for just $99.99 — a total steal. If you run large quantities of brass, you can get the larger-capacity Frankford Arsenal Platinum Tumbler for $179.99. Either one of these is a reliable, durable (and watertight) machine that should provide years of worry-free tumbling.

7. CDNN Sports — Walther Creed 9mm — $249.99

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

8. Amazon — MPow 28 NRR Safety Earmuffs, $10.99

Amazon Mpow nrr 28 dB ear muffs soft padding

These MPow 28 dB NRR earmuffs are Amazon’s “#1 Best Seller” in safety muffs. Purchasers report that the ear padding is quite pliant and comfortable (much better than most inexpensive muffs). Selling for just $10.99 on Amazon, these muffs are a great deal. These muffs work well for indoor pistol shooting, for free-recoil style benchrest shooting, or outdoors 3-Gun and action shooting. For PRS shooting or prone rifle shooting (with your head on the stock), we recommend a lower profile muff with earplugs underneath.

9. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $24.99

Shooting Mat

Looking for a good mat at a great price? For $24.99 now you can grab this NcStar Vism shooting mat. This has decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — about the same size as a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. Purchaser reviews have been very positive. This mat has earned 79% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

10. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — nearly all verified buyers rated this five stars.

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May 13th, 2019

Cartridge History: Ever Heard of the .244 Remington?

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed. Why was the .244 Remington an “also-ran” to the .243 Win? Sierra Bullets Ballistics Technician Paul Box provides some answers…

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies, and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 Win and Remington counter-punched with the .244 Remington (now more commonly known as the 6mm Remington). The .243 Win was based off the time-proven .308 Win case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1:10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1:12″ twist for their .244 Rem rifles. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester could handle 100 grain bullets, while Remington’s [12-twist factory rifles were supposedly limited to 90 grain bullets].

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100-grainer was better suited for deer-sized game and the 1:12″-twist wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100-grainer is a deer bullet and a 95-grainer isn’t, has been drinking too much Kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the [90s] with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100gr SMP and Hornady offered a 100gr RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist. The .244 Remington provides another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

.244 Rem vs. .243 Win — What the Experts Say
Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says the .244 Remington deserved greater acceptance: “The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally. The .244 Rem and 6mm Rem cartridges are completely interchangable, and anyone with a .244 Rem rifle can shoot [6mm Rem] ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.”

Nathan Foster, author of The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, states: “In 1963 Remington attempted to regain ground by releasing .244 rifles with a new 1:9″ twist to handle heavier bullets. The cartridge was renamed the 6mm Remington and new ammunition was loaded giving the hunter the choice of either an 80gr bullet for varmints or a 100gr bullet for deer. In comparison to the .243 Win, factory loads for the .244/6mm Remington are slightly more powerful while hand loads increase this margin further.”

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

Was the .244 Remington Actually Better than the .243 Winchester?
The .244 Remington (aka “6mm Remington”) has a velocity advantage over the .243 Winchester due to a slightly larger case capacity. The longer case neck of the .244 Remington is considered desirable by handloaders. We like the added capacity and long neck of the original .244 Remington. As renamed the “6mm Remington”, the cartridge HAS developed a following, particularly with varmint hunters looking for a high-velocity 6mm option. But it never achieved the success of the .243 Winchester for many reasons. As a member of the .308 family of cartridges, the .243 Winchester has certain obvious advantages. First, you can simply neck down .308 Win brass, which was available at low cost from many sources. Moreover, a .308 Win or 7mm-08 full-length sizing die could be used for body sizing. Still the .244 Remington (6mm Remington) presents an interesting “what if?” story…

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May 9th, 2019

How to Ship Guns, Barrels, Scopes, and Ammo Safely

Shipping information news Fedex UPS USPS postal service

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXGun guys are always shipping stuff around the country — whether it’s a barrel to be chambered, or a scope that needs to go back for warranty repair. Or maybe you’ve sold some bullets or reloading dies you no longer need. To ensure your precious packages get to their destination in one piece, it’s important to take precautions when boxing up your items. And by all means insure packages for full value — even if your packaging is perfect, there is always the possibility that your shipment might be lost altogether. Sadly, that can happen, no matter which carrier you choose: Fedex, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Here are some tips for shipping gun stuff — we explain how to pack items properly and how to minimize the risk of loss.

Tips for Shippers
Dennis Haffner from McGowen Precision Barrels offers some advice on how to avoid damage when shipping gun parts or other valuable or heavy items. Dennis explains:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“First, I started double-packing the contents and in many cases double-boxing. I spend a fortune on heavy-reinforced shipping tape. If the contents are loosely packed, the package is going to get crushed. On real important items or delicate items, wrap the content in plastic and spray the inside void areas with non-expanding foam. They make shipping foam just for this. This method really works. Since I started paying more attention to packaging, I have just about wiped out my issues with all three companies (Fedex, UPS, USPS). Yes, I hate doing it, but in the long run for us, it’s cheaper.

Bullet shipments are the worst — a shipment of 500+ bullets can destroy a cardboard box. I have ordered bullets from individuals who put them in baggies and filled the remainder of the box with foam peanuts. That is not going to work. Any piece of metal, including a die, will puncture a cardboard box, or destroy a padded envelope. Just look at the tracking information and imagine your package bouncing around in the back of the shipping truck, probably under many other packages. My advice is to NEVER use padded envelopes. Barrel nuts or recoil lugs will most likely never make it.

ORM-D items are required to be shipped in heavily-reinforced, double-walled containers. The packages still get a little damage, but the contents usually survive.

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXHow do shipments get damaged? Consider this — one of the shipping companies this year flipped (overturned) one of our new CNC machines (which rendered it useless). Maybe your small packages were in the same delivery truck as my CNC machine. I wonder how many little boxes were crushed underneath it.

As for USPS flat rate boxes — you would not believe what people try to stuff in these boxes. USPS finally put a weight limit on the boxes — they had to. I sometimes take my delicate items packed in an envelope or small box. I spray foam in a larger flat rate box and insert the smaller package, then fill the remainder of the void with foam. It works, and part usually arrives undamaged.”

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX
Shipping Rifle Barrels (PVC Tube and Tennis Ball Method)
A new match-grade barrel can cost $350 or more, and it might take six months (or more) to replace it, given the current wait time with top barrel-makers. So, you don’t want your nice new tube to get damaged in transit. Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “M-61″) offers these tips for shipping rifle barrels:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“Packing a barrel can be a problem. Here’s a shipping method that won’t stop lost shipments but so far has stopped damage. Get a PVC pipe (of size appropriate to your barrel) with fitted caps for each end. Attach a cap to one end. Tape the barrel threads and tape over the muzzle. Then drop one standard tennis ball into the pipe. Place barrel in pipe. Next add whatever peanuts or foam you can jam in to support the barrel on the sides. Then place a second tennis ball into the opposite end of the PVC pipe. (So now you have a tennis ball on either end of your barrel.) With everything secure inside, attach the upper cap and tape it down securely. With this packing procedure, when the carrier launches the pipe like a javelin, at least the barrel will not come through like a spear and be gone. Label the pipe with very large address labels so no one suspects it’s just garbage laying around. This procedure may seem ridiculous but it has worked for me. Oh and definitely get insurance. If your item is insured, the shippers will look harder to find it.”

Editor’s Note: Fedex also makes a triangular-profile cardboard shipping box. This 38″ x 6″ x 6″ x 6″ Fedex Tube (designed for blueprints and posters) is free for the asking. For most barrels, there should be enough clearance to hold your PVC tube (with barrel packed inside tube). However, don’t ship the barrel inside the cardboard box by itself. Cap and pad the ends and bubble wrap it heavily, or better yet, use the PVC tube method described above, with the PVC tube inside the box.

For More Packing and Shipping Advice, Read this Forum Thread.

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May 7th, 2019

6mm Creedmoor — How Many FPS Will a Shorter Barrel Cost You?

6mm 6.5 Creedmoor rifleshooter.com Bill Barr barrel length cut-down velocity test chronograph Magnetospeed chrono

Our friend Bill Marr of Rifleshooter.com has done it again — conducted a fascinating 6mm Creedmoor barrel cut-down test that reveals how velocity changes with barrel length. This time Bill started with a 24″ Proof Research stainless steel barrel on a Howa action. Bill says this was a well-used barrel, with over 1800 rounds through it. So, the velocities might be a bit different than a new barrel of similar length. Bill cut the barrel down in one-inch increments. Here are some results from the test:

24″ Velocity: 2893 FPS | 20″ Velocity: 2755 FPS | 16.1″ Velocity: 2598 FPS

CLICK HERE for FULL TEST REPORT on RifleShooter.com »

6mm 6.5 Creedmoor rifleshooter.com Bill Barr barrel length cut-down velocity test chronograph Magnetospeed chrono

6mm 6.5 Creedmoor rifleshooter.com Bill Barr barrel length cut-down velocity test chronograph Magnetospeed chronoFor this latest test, Rifleshooter cut the barrel in one-inch increments from 24″ to 16.1″ (just over legal minimum). Velocities were measured with a MagnetoSpeed V3 chronograph mounted on arm attached to the stock. This allowed the chrono to be adjusted inwards as the barrel was cut shorter, inch by inch.

For the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, Bill loaded Hornady 108gr ELD Match bullets over 41.5 grains of Hodgdon H4350 with CCI 200 primers in new Starline brass.

The results were interesting to say the least. Bill reports: “Muzzle velocities ranged from 2,893 ft/sec at 24″ to 2,598 ft/sec at 16″ for a decrease in muzzle velocity of 295 ft/sec. Muzzle velocity changes per inch of barrel length ranged from 6 ft/sec per inch between 20 and 19 inches to 63 ft/sec per inch between 19 and 18 inches. Average velocity change per inch of barrel length was 37.9 ft/sec.”

Bill concludes: “An average drop of 37.9 ft/sec/inch of barrel is fairly significant and is what would be expected with a fast moving 6mm cartridge like the 6mm Creedmoor. While I’m used to seeing 6mm Creedmoors with slightly longer barrel lengths than 24″, when coupled with a sound suppressor the additional length can make moving the rifle quickly more difficult.

I’d suggest staying with longer barrel lengths wherever possible with this cartridge. At shorter lengths, it does give up more performance than its big brother the 6.5 Creedmoor.”

More 6mm Creedmoor Velocity Data from 2017 Cut-Down Test

If you’re curious about 6mm Creedmoor velocities at longer barrel lengths, back in 2017 Rifleshooter completed a 6mm Creedmoor barrel cut-down test from 31 inches all the way down to 17 inches. The test included four bullet types from 95 grains to 110 grains. With the 110gr Sierra MK, velocity at 31″ was an impressive 3110 fps. Surprisingly the velocity didn’t decrease that much for the first few inches. Even at 26″ (a five-inch reduction), measured velocity with the 110s was 3073 fps, a loss of 7.4 fps per inch on average. With a barrel shortened all the way to 20″ however, velocity had dropped down to 2949 fps, a significant (161 fps) loss. CLICK HERE for complete results from that 31″-17″ Barrel Cut-Down Test.

6mm 6.5 Creedmoor rifleshooter.com Bill Barr barrel length cut-down velocity test chronograph Magnetospeed chrono

CLICK HERE for 31″ to 17″ 6mm Creedmoor Barrel Test Report »

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May 7th, 2019

Time in the Reloading Room Can Provide Stress Relief

Sierra Bullets Blog handloading stress relief

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin for Sierra Bullets Blog
A lot of calls that come into the Sierra Customer Service Center are made by shooters [of retirement age]. Most of the time the shooter used to reload back when they were [younger] and stopped in order to raise a family, pursue a career, or both. Maybe their father or grandfather taught them back in the day and they are looking for an answer to the new whatchamacallit they found on the internet. The point is they are coming back to it because it was fun.

Reloading Can Provide Stress Relief
As a father of three, a husband, a brother, a son and son-in-law, and a friend and neighbor, I get pulled in a lot of directions. In all honesty, reloading and shooting has become a stress relief for me even though I work in the shooting industry.

Sometimes, the shooting gets put on hold for other more important things but there will always be another project or repair to accomplish. There are a lot out there that have found a way to balance the work life, the family life, and the play life. I would like to applaud you on your efforts because it is a hard thing to accomplish.

Remember to take time and relieve that stress. Do something fun, especially if it is shooting that special hand-load you just made.

AccurateShooter Comment — Hand-Loading and the Creative Process
Reloading your own precise ammo can be rewarding in many ways. First it allows you a temporary escape from work pressures, “Honey-Dos”, filing your taxes — whatever. It’s just you and Mr. Rockchucker spending quality time in the loading room. Second, hand-loading is a creative process that engages the mind. During load development, you are like an inventor, selecting a powder charge, choosing the bushing size, experimenting with seating depths, working to perfect your load.

Lastly, the process of hand-loading is rewarding because you are building something start to finish. You begin with components — bullets, brass, and powder, and end up with a finished product that (hopefully) is better than the best factory ammo you could buy. It is enormously satisfying to start with piles of bullets and brass and end up with beautiful hand-loads that can deliver great accuracy.

This post originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

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May 6th, 2019

Bargain Finder 189: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Gensec Armament — 17 HMR Rossi RB17 Rifle, $135.99

Rossi RB17 17 HMR sale rifle varmint Hornady Magnum rimfire varminter

If you enjoy hunting small varmints (such as ground squirrels), or plinking out to 200 yards, you really should get a 17 HMR. This little rimfire cartridge is very effective on small varmints and is much flatter shooting than a .22 LR. What 17 HMR to buy? Well if you’re on a tight budget, consider the Rossi RB17. This handy bolt gun boasts a nicely designed stock, a 5-round magazine, 21″ barrel, plus scope bases attached to the action. And you can get one for under $140! Right now the RB17 is just $135.99 at Gensec Armament and $136.48 at Guns Midwest. (Compare More Vendors).

2. Krieger Barrels — Discounted Overstock Barrels

krieger barrels

Krieger barrels have a strong tradition of being at the top of leaderboards year after year. But like any good barrel company they often need to be ordered months ahead of time. A little-known secret is that Krieger maintains a supply of Krieger overstock barrels that are priced to move and available right now. These are absolutely first-run quality, but just represent excess volume in particular contours and calibers. We’ve ordered Krieger overstock barrels and have never been disappointed — especially when the barrel shows up a week later.

3. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Slingshot Rest, $129.97

bald eagle front rifle rest

Maybe you’re just getting into F-Class or just need a good stable front rest to shoot from and don’t want to spend a ton of money on one. Don’t worry because Grizzly now has the Bald Eagle BE1129 aluminum slingshot rest for an amazingly low $129.97 Closeout price. Just add your favorite front bag and you’re ready to go with a competition quality elevation adjustable rest. They also have the Bald Eagle BE1209 – Big Fifty Rest on sale now for $205.00, nearly 50% off. With a much wider span and cast-iron legs, the Big Fifty is designed for larger guns up to .50 caliber. Either way, these rests are a great value.

4. Bullet Central — Buy BAT Action + Bix’N Andy Trigger, Save $50

bat action bix n andy trigger

BAT actions are certainly some of the finest actions on the market. Likewise, Bix’n Andy triggers are some of the very best triggers. However, it’s rare to see either of them on sale. For a limited time, Bullet Central is offering a $50 DISCOUNT with the purchase of a Bat action plus a Bix’n Andy trigger. This is about as good a deal as you’ll find on either product. If a new gun build is in your future this is a good time to pick up a premium action and trigger and save some bucks in the process.

5. Amazon — Caldwell Stable Table Lite, $109.99

Caldwell stable table

Here’s a great product for varmint hunters, and shooters who test their rifles in locations without fixed benches. Yes there are other portable benches, but these may weigh over 120 pounds and cost hundreds of dollars. The Caldwell Caldwell Stable Table Lite is a affordable, transportable option. The stable table weighs under 30 pounds and costs about $110.00. That makes it very viable as a movable varmint bench. This weatherproof folding table folds flat and is only about 8″ thick when packed up.

Photos don’t do this product justice, guys. You should really watch the video to see how the Stable Table Lite works. The video shows how the table deploys easily and how you can swing the seat to either side. Any shooter looking for a light-weight, affordable, easily-transported shooting table should definitely consider this product.

6. Taurus G2c 9mm — $184.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus is running a factory rebate through the end of May 2013. Palmetto State Armory has the OD Green-frame Taurus G2c 9mm for just $209.99 with FREE shipping. But the Taurus $25 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $184.99 for this G2c. Or, if you like basic black, you can get a black-framed G2c for $174.99 after rebate. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

7. Natchez — Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauge, $33.49

hornady headspace gauge

Are you checking your headspace to ensure you’re pushing your shoulders back the correct amount? If you’re aren’t using a tool like the Hornady Headspace Gauge with 5 bushings then you are just guessing and you’ll never know for sure. Using one of the headspace gauges is one of the best ways to control your full-length sizing and thereby improve the consistency of your handloads.

8. Costco — Cannon 72-Gun Executive Safe, $749.99 Delivered

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

Right now CostCo is offering the Cannon CS72 Executive Series 72-Gun Safe for just $749.99 DELIVERED! That’s a great price for a HUGE safe with 43.8 cubic feet of internal space. This 649-pound behemoth measures 59″H x 45″W x 28″D and weight 696 pounds (over 1/3 of a ton!). This is built strong with 1″ thick composite door, six 1″-diameter locking bolts, and 60-minute fire rating. NOTE: The $749.99 price includes “Standard shipping via common carrier” to the lower 48 states. This is a great value. You could easily pay $1600 or more for a safe this size from a local vendor.

9. Amazon — Caldwell Front and Rear Bag Set (Unfilled), $20.16

Caldwell deadshot front rear bag sandbag sale varminter
Caldwell deadshot front rear bag sandbag sale varminter

This is a functional, “field expedient” system that’s easy to haul around and only costs $20.16. Varminters can keep these bags in a vehicle for deployment any time. Act quick — this is a special sale price at Amazon.com. This unfilled bag combo sells for up to $33.00 elsewhere. This inexpensive system works surprisingly well, particularly with “standard” rifles with narrow fore-ends. Rather than sand, you can fill with rice or media to make the bags lighter. This system features a heavy-duty clip and D-Ring for linking the two bags for easy carry. Caldwell DeadShot bags are crafted from durable, water-resistant 600 denier polyester. Bag dimensions (filled) are: FRONT 11″ x 8.5″ X 6″; REAR 5″ x 5″ x 4.5″.

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May 5th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Costello Battles Storm Hannah with .300 WSM

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Gary Costello recently won the Great Britain National League 600-yard Championship in F-Open class. Gary managed that impressive win despite Storm Hannah which caused torrential rain and 40 mph winds during the match, held at the Diggle ranges. Gary, a Forum member, reports that conditions were hellacious: “The weather was terrible, with horizontal rain and winds in excess of 40 mph. In fact, some shooters got blown clean off the target and many complete misses occurred.”

There’s a special story here, as Gary had been battling a life-threatening illness for many months. Gary told us: “This was my first National Competition since September 2018. I contracted a serious heart virus in October 2018. I was critically ill until January 2019. After undergoing treatment and 100% rest I recovered slowly, my focus was the 600-Yard Shoot in April. I am now 70% there and hopefully in another 4-6 months I hope to make a full recovery.” [Editor: Gary, we are glad you are on the road to recovery.]

In today’s Sunday GunDay story, we feature Gary’s American-crafted .300 WSM F-Open rifle. Note that Gary’s rifle has a Ezell barrel tuner and a recoil-reduction system in the buttstock. The .300 WSM does generate quite a kick with those big .30-caliber bullets.

Gary Costello’s .300 WSM F-Open Rifle

BAT M Action and Cerus Stock
This rifle was purchased from Jim Fowler (FalconPilot on the AccurateShooter Forum). This SG Rifles gun, crafted by smith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez, is a .300 WSM with BAT ‘M’ action (with nitrided bolt) and Cerus riflestock. Gary owns two other Speedy-built rifles.

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Gary tells us: “My BAT ‘M’ action is a multi-port so I feed with my left and it ejects on the right. Speedy has worked on the firing control and timing, and I fitted the roller-cocking piece to aid smoothness and speed.” The fluted shroud is Speedy’s signature for fire control work.

Stunning Lenzi Co-Axial Front Rest
Gary tells us this impressive joy-stick rest “is a superb piece of engineering .. made by my good friend Alberto Lenzi.” Note the large stable base, and the deluxe counter-balance weight on the front end. Gary also uses a very nice leather rear sandbag crafted by Lenzi.

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

Riflescope — Prototype March 10-60×56 High Master
Gary Costello’s company is the European distributor for March Scopes. Gary was testing this scope as it has a new temperature-tolerant lens system to be released later this year

Gary Costello England UK F-Class .300 WSM Win Short Magnum Speedy BAT Action SG Rifles

.300 WSM Load Details — H4350 with Berger 215gr Hybrids
Gary was shooting pointed Berger 215gr Hybrid bullets in Norma .300 WSM cartridge brass. The powder was Hodgdon H4350 with Muron KVB7 primers. Gary say his load runs around 2850 fps, and is very accurate. To demonstrate, here is a three-round, 100-yard test target, with a group measuring in the ones. Pretty impressive for a big bullet and a short magnum cartridge.

Gary Costello F-Class Great Britain UK .300 WSM Speedy

Gary Costello F-Class Great Britain UK .300 WSM Speedy

The UK has some wonderful places to shoot. This photo was taken at Blair Atholl in the Highlands of Scotland. Gary says “This is one of my favorite ranges and probably the hardest range to shoot in the UK. Due to the topography of the range you have to alter elevation as well as wind for pick-up and let-off. They say ‘Diggle Ranges Bark’ but Blair Atholl Bites!”

Blast from the Past — At Blair Atholl Ranges in Scotland

Gary Costello Blair Atholl Scotland Ranges

One of Europe’s very best F-Class competitors, Gary is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Here he is at the Blair Atholl Ranges in Scotland after a major victory a few seasons back. Gary says: “Blair Atholl, in the Estate of Blair Castle, is very scenic. The range is very tricky and is known as the hardest range in the UK to shoot due to the location of the targets cut into the hillside and valley. When the wind is at full value you often have to add one-half MOA elevation to every 1 MOA of wind. So thinking wind and elevation every shot is very difficult. I won this match some time ago and I do not recall the score. However it was a decisive win, and all matches in the competition were held at 1000 yards.” Gary was using a different rifle, but it also was a .300 WSM with a BAT action. His load was Hodgdon H4831 with Berger 215gr Hybrids, Murom primers, and Norma brass.

GB 600-Yard Championship — Gary’s Shot-by-Shot Report

The event was the first GB National League event of the year, our only short range (600-yard) match. This is actually one month later than usual in hope the weather would be better, sadly that wasn’t the case!

I won the Championship, five points clear of runner-up Ian Boxall. My final score was 241-18V out of a maximum of 250. The course of fire was reduced due to Storm Hannah on Saturday. It was decided by our committee that for safety we should shoot under cover (Diggle has a 600-yard covered firing point). The goal was to get at least one match to allow the competition to continue on the Sunday.

When I saw the condition and the flags I decided I needed to shoot as quick as possible as wind speed and direction were changing in seconds….

So I shot like stink only watching one flag and the other targets and my shot indication on the target screen. My first sighter was a score One left (a FIVE on the U.S F-Class target). But after adjusting, my second sighter was a One right — so there were pick-ups and let offs of about FIVE MOA!

I split the difference and went for score, my first shot was a Four (Nine on USA target) which I then adjusted on and held accordingly for the rest of the string using the other targets as indication and the one flag I had identified, it went pretty well.

Day Two (Sunday) weather was completely different, much better with no rain. We were first up at 0900 and the winds were light with subtle changes. This was a two sighters and 20-shot match, I started well with two V sighters which were converted, my partner Richard Sharman also had a good start and we proceeded through the string shooting Vs and Fives until Richard’s shots started to not register, this happened three times so it was decided I would continue and Richard would shoot again on another target. This caused a lot of delay and disruption. I had lost my path and wind, due to the delay I was allowed a non-convertible sighter which was a Three. It took two further shots to get back into the swing and I then recovered and ended the shoot with a 97-10V.

For the Final Match, the wind had picked up and was causing quite a few lost points and curses. I knew I was three points clear going into this Final Match so I had to play it real safe not to drop shots and lose critical points. I favored a left 4-5 Ring hold so not to get caught on the pick-ups. I use the March MTR-2 reticle, on 40X this reticle is subtended at exactly one-half MOA and brackets the F-class target perfectly. I was not concerned about the V bull at this time, the plan paid off and I dropped two points only.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
May 5th, 2019

6.5 Creedmoor Load Data from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Load Data 6.5 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is now one of the most popular cartridges for new factory rifles. Ruger, Savage, Howa and other gun-makers all offer 6.5 Creeemoor rifles. The 6.5 CM has been a leading cartridge for tactical/practical gun games (although many shooters have moved to a 6mm Creedmoor or even a 6mm Dasher). It offers excellent ballistics, moderate recoil, and good accuracy with a variety of powder and bullet combos. Along with the 6.5×47 Lapua, the 6.5 Creedmoor has demonstrated that a .264-Caliber mid-sized caliber is truly a jack of all trades — it can be accurate on paper, win PRS matches, and also harvest game during hunting season. If you own a 6.5 Creedmoor (or plan to get one) and hand-load your ammo, this post should provide a good start. Sierra Bullets now offers 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data for bullets from 120 to 142 grains — the most popular weight range for this chambering.

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Sierra Bullets has released very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.

The Springfield M1A is now available in 6.5 Creedmoor. For Gas Guns like this, be sure to full-length-size your brass after every firing, with adequate shoulder bump.
M1A 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra Load Data

Sierra Load Data 6.5 CreedmoorDeveloped in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber).

Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Reloder 16, Varget, and IMR 4451. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power and PRS matches, and in the hunting fields. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success.

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

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May 4th, 2019

Cartridge “Efficiency” — Factors to Consider from the USAMU

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion.

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Cartridge Efficiency: A Primer (pun intended!) by USAMU Staff

Each week, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading article on its Facebook Page. In this week’s article, the USAMU discusses cartridge case efficiency and its benefits. While this is oriented primarily toward NRA High Power Rifle and Long Range (1000-yard) competition, these factors also apply to medium/big game hunters. Assuming one’s rifle and ammunition are accurate, key considerations include ballistic performance (i.e., resistance to wind effects, plus trajectory), recoil, and throat erosion/barrel life.

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion. A classic example in the author’s experience involved a featherweight 7x57mm hunting/silhouette rifle. When loaded to modern-rifle pressures, just 43-44 grains of powder pushed a 139gr bullet at 2900 fps from its 22” barrel. Recoil in this light rifle was mild; it was very easy to shoot well, and its performance was superb.

An acquaintance chose a “do everything” 7mm Remington Magnum for use on medium game at short ranges. A larger, heavier rifle, it used ~65 grains of powder to achieve ~3200 fps with similar bullets — from its 26″ barrel. Recoil was higher, and he was sensitive to it, which hampered his shooting ability.

Similarly efficient calibers include the 6mm BR [Norma], and others. Today’s highly-efficient calibers, such as 6mm BR and a host of newer developments might use 28-30 grains of powder to launch a 105-107gr match bullet at speeds approaching the .243 Winchester. The .243 Win needs 40-45 grain charges at the same velocity.

Champion-level Long Range shooters need every ballistic edge feasible. They compete at a level where 1″ more or less drift in a wind change could make the difference between winning and losing. Shooters recognized this early on — the then-new .300 H&H Magnum quickly supplanted the .30-06 at the Wimbledon winner’s circle in the early days.

The .300 Winchester Magnum became popular, but its 190-220gr bullets had their work cut out for them once the 6.5-284 and its streamlined 140-142gr bullets arrived on the scene. The 6.5-284 gives superb accuracy and wind performance with about half the recoil of the big .30 magnums – albeit it is a known barrel-burner.

Currently, the 7mm Remington Short Action Ultra-Magnum (aka 7mm RSAUM), is giving stellar accuracy with cutting-edge, ~180 grain bullets, powder charges in the mid-50 grain range and velocities about 2800+ fps in long barrels. Beyond pure efficiency, the RSAUM’s modern, “short and fat” design helps ensure fine accuracy relative to older, longer cartridge designs of similar performance.

Recent design advances are yielding bullets with here-to-fore unheard-of ballistic efficiency; depending on the cartridge, they can make or break ones decision. Ballistic coefficients (“BC” — a numerical expression of a bullet’s ballistic efficiency) are soaring to new heights, and there are many exciting new avenues to explore.

The ideal choice [involves a careful] balancing act between bullet BCs, case capacity, velocity, barrel life, and recoil. But, as with new-car decisions, choosing can be half the fun!

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Cartridges
For competitive shooters… pristine accuracy and ballistic performance in the wind are critical. Flat trajectory benefits the hunter who may shoot at long, unknown distances (nowadays, range-finders help). However, this is of much less importance to competitors firing at known distances.

Recoil is an issue, particularly when one fires long strings during competition, and/or multiple strings in a day. Its effects are cumulative; cartridges with medium/heavy recoil can lead to shooter fatigue, disturbance of the shooting position and lower scores.

For hunters, who may only fire a few shots a year, recoil that does not induce flinching during sight-in, practice and hunting is a deciding factor. Depending on their game and ranges, etc., they may accept more recoil than the high-volume High Power or Long Range competitor.

Likewise, throat erosion/barrel life is important to competitive shooters, who fire thousands of rounds in practice and matches, vs. the medium/big game hunter. A cartridge that performs well ballistically with great accuracy, has long barrel life and low recoil is the competitive shooter’s ideal. For the hunter, other factors may weigh more heavily.

Cartridge Efficiency and Energy — Another Perspective
Lapua staffer Kevin Thomas explains that efficiency can be evaluated in terms of energy:

“Cartridge efficiency is pretty straight forward — energy in vs. energy out. Most modern single-based propellants run around 178-215 ft/lbs of energy per grain. These figures give the energy potential that you’re loading into the rifle. The resulting kinetic energy transferred to the bullet will give you the efficiency of the round. Most cases operate at around 20-25% efficiency. This is just another way to evaluate the potential of a given cartridge. There’s a big difference between this and simply looking at max velocities produced by various cartridges.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »
May 4th, 2019

Super Deal — Lake City 7.62×51 Primed Brass $49.99/250

Midsouth Shooters Lake City Surplus pull-down primed .308 Win 7.62x51 brass sale bulk 250

Do you shoot a Springfield M1A rifle chambered for the .308 Win/7.62×51? Or maybe you have a rugged, semi-auto FN-FAL in 7.62×51 NATO? Are you looking for very strong, durable brass you can shoot in these semi-auto battle rifles, without breaking the bank?

M1A Camp Perry 2009 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win Winchester
Photo of 2009 M1A Match at Camp Perry. Shooter is Nick Till, 2007 Service Rifle Champion.

Semi-autos such as the M1A are tough on brass. You want brass that isn’t too costly, but at the same time is very strong and durable. For decades, USA-made Lake City brass have been a solid choice for 7.62×51 semis, and now you can get quality, unfired 7.62×51 Lake City brass for just $49.99 for 250 cases at Midsouth. That’s just $0.20 (twenty cents) per case! That’s a fourth what you’ll pay for premium, virgin .308 Winchester brass. These cases are never-fired brass, with CCI #34 primers seated in crimped, military-style primer pockets.

Midsouth Shooters Lake City Surplus pull-down primed .308 Win 7.62x51 brass sale bulk 250
springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

This 7.62×51 Lake City brass comes from disassembled “pull-down” ammunition. It has NOT been fired, but it has been previously assembled. So, there may be some cosmetic issues with the brass. Note that these are primed cases. If you choose to neck-size or FL-size the brass before loading for the first time, REMOVE the decapping rod in your sizing die. This brass has LIVE PRIMERS!! Do NOT use a die with a decapping rod for the first loading of this brass. Got that guys? This is important!!

Midsouth Shooters Lake City Surplus pull-down primed .308 Win 7.62x51 brass sale bulk 250

We have shot FN-FAL-type rifles built on DS Arms semi-auto lowers with European uppers. Those beasts were tough on brass, so we relied on Lake City brass when available. If you have a FN-FAL or STG-58, you should give this Lake City primed, pull-down brass a try. (Federal Gold Medal Match ammo shot great in our DSA/STG-58 but the brass was toast after a few firings).

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May 2nd, 2019

Loading at the Range — Why It Works for the Benchrest Game

Benchrest IBS Shooting Reloading Chargemaster tuning load
Shown are funnel with ultra-long drop tube (which helps get more kernels in the cases), RCBS Chargemaster (in wood box), and Hood Press (similar to Harrell’s Combo press).

Loading at the range remains important in the Benchrest for Group discipline. In a Special Report below, IBS President Jeff Stover explains how loading methods (and hardware) have evolved over the years. The advent of accurate, affordable electronic powder dispensers, such as the RCBS ChargeMaster and Frankford’s new Intellidropper, have changed the game and made it easier to load efficiently at the range. And quality manual powder measures are fast and can be very consistent, with a little practice. Loading at the range permits competitors to tune their load to the conditions, change seating depths, or even choose different bullets to suit the barrel’s preferences on any given day.

IBS Benchrest

Although pre-loading is not uncommon, most 100/200-yard group shooters usually load at the match, often between relays. The goal is to shoot smaller groups by staying “in tune”. In a game where 5-shot groups “in the 1s and Zeros” is the goal, tuning loads for the conditions helps deliver match-winning accuracy. Nearly all competitors in this short-range discipline shoot the 6mm PPC cartridge, or a PPC variant.

IBS Benchrest loading at range Jeff Stover

Loading at the Range — Then and Now

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

In benchrest shooting for group, loading at the range has been de rigueur for decades. In the Score discipline, preloading is usually the custom. The main reason is that, in Score competition, only one Aggregate (warm-up match and five record targets) per day is usually shot. That would be less than 50 shots, assuming a few sighter shots. Also, the 30BR, the dominant Benchrest-for-Score cartridge, is very amenable to pre-loading.

By contrast, the Group discipline includes 21 targets (two warm-ups and twenty record targets) over a weekend, usually shot with 6PPC-chambered rifles. Many times, the 6PPC shooters may tweak their loads through the day given changing atmospheric conditions or simply trying to find the correct tune to “dot up”. This term, “Dot up”, means the shots are essentially going through the same hole, or closely so.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Loading at the range was a bit different when benchrest competition was in its infancy. The 1951 book, Modern Accuracy by Bob Wallack, is the best of the early benchrest books. Copies can be found, from time to time, on eBay or Alibris. It is a fascinating survey of benchrest as it existed more than six decades ago. There’s even coverage of a controversial target that was argued over at the time. In it, there is a photo of Wallack using the rear bumper of a car at the bench to clamp his reloading tools. Things have come a long way compared to the range loading set-ups of modern shooters. Here you can see Bob Wallack way back in 1950:

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Modern loading bench set-ups shown in this Special Report belong to top shooters Howie Levy, Bob Hamister, and Kent Harshman.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 2 Comments »